All my opinions are my own. Got a problem with it? Then, screw you.
Also, WARNING, I'm biased 8D
Okaaay~ So, recently, as in about...2 weeks ago, KAT-TUN released their 6th album. As a dedicated Hyphen, I decided I should revive this blog by reviewing this album. So, how did this album fare with me, then?
1. LOCK ON
When the existence of this song was first announced, I had a pretty set idea of what it was going to sound like, y'know, like, what kind of song it was going to be and what elements it would include. And, when I first heard the radio rip of it, I was pleased to find that my guess been pretty much perfect, aside from the fact that I had expected more autotune. You could say I had almost 'Locked On' to song's sound, couldn't you? ;D /shot/
Anyway, I really loved the song. Like, really. Before the album's release, I'd already played the radio rip to death, but the PV and the prospect of hearing the song in full, decent quality got me excited again. It's such a great song.
It's got that weird electro-poprock thing that KAT-TUN have developed in the last few years, which I love. These songs are amazing. And no autotune means there's just pure voice. It's a good, powerful song, and it's damned catchy.
2. ONE DAY
Hopefully, I wont be as stupidly repetitive with this song as I was with LOCK ON xD
But, really. I haven't got a single complaint about this song, either. It's another total winner on this album, there's actually a high chance it's my favourite track. The chorus is ridiculously catchy, considering the words are pretty easy to remember and the tune totally gets in your brain. It's less rocky than LOCK ON, but it's got that little hint of electro blended in with pure hyper poppiness. It's a song with a somewhat serious sound, yet it's still a really upbeat and happy song. I'm a total fool for songs like that, so it gets my vote. I love successful blends of sounds, so...yeah.
The first single on the album. Ah~ The wonderful theme song of Yokai Ningen Bem.
This song automatically reminds me of Yokai Ningen Bem, so I really love it as a result. I mean, at first, I preferred STAR RIDER, when the PVs for that single were released, but...Bem did his beautiful work and converted me. Also, the drums in the song sound REALLY good on headphones, so that kind of drew me to it, as well. Furthermore, as they sang this song a lot live near Christmas, and a lot of big year-end music shows were on, this song has fond memories for me. Cause...I woke up earlier than normal just to watch the ones that KAT-TUN were performing on. I watched the whole things, as well, even after KAT-TUN had long buggered off.
4. ULTIMATE WHEELS
I love the instrumental track for this song, it's so...dramatic xD More dramatic than the rest of the song, actually.
This song has an odd line distribution, but I like it. The whole duo line stuff is really awesome.
The 'Never Let You Go' parts...the tune has always reminded me of My Chemical Romance's Ghost of You xDD
5. FINALE (Junnosuke Taguchi)
This is the first solo song on the album.
And, arguably, Junno's best. Even though I'm still partial to WIND, for some reason. It just makes me happy.
This song surprised me in the same way that GIRLS did, back when CHANGE UR WORLD was released. I was really expecting something akin to SAMURAI LOVE ATTACK, to be quite honest. So, when this autotune-filled techno-fest fully revealed itself, I was really surprised. Pleasantly surprised, of course.
I mean, it's not necessarily my favourite Junno solo, but it's probably the best. That makes sense, okay? xD I mean, I like other ones better because they're stupid and fun, not because they're really good songs.
Also, it's nice to hear Junno do a low, mature solo. It's really refreshing. This song makes me think of city nightscapes and bright lights, both of which I love, so, it puts nice images in my head. It also gives me this image of Junno chilling in a big shiny chair in a club like a boss ;D
6. STEP BY STEP (Yuichi Nakamaru)
Of course, nearly everyone already knew this song, thanks to the Shounen Club performance in September, when a new album had first been announced. No details were revealed whatsoever, except for that this song would be on it xD So, I guess, for me anyway, this song had a much smaller element of surprise than the other solos. But, at least, it meant that Maru's solo had been the first one I'd heard, because I have a habit of leaving his solos until last, and I don't even know why xD
However, it's a really nice song. We're back with the dancey electro stuff, but in a much softer form this time. This song sounds really flowy and fluttery to me, somehow. And makes me think of shiny things and bubbles. It's a very pretty song.
Maru's English pronunciation is really odd in parts, but he hits those hight notes amazingly. I mean, I don't care about the English, it's better than most of KAT-TUN's English xD And, like I said, oh my god, those high notes. I'm glad Maru has been singing higher songs recently, because a lot of his older songs were a lot lower, and, I hate to say it, but they didn't really suit his voice. Especially before their debut, because he always sounded like he was straining his voice a little. But he sings higher songs with such a totally natural-sounding ease.
7. RUN FOR YOU
This is another single.
Total autotuney electropop time, here~
This song...makes me feel Summery. I don't like that, cause it's not a Summery song xD It just came out in the Summer and I remember being in France, deathlooping the radio rip in the car, having a fangirl fit in a Virgin Megastore after watching the CM and HEY! HEY! HEY! performance on one of the display iPads...
But, I don't dislike the song in anyway. When I heard the first preview of it aaaages ago, when the first low quality SOLIO CM with it as a tie-in track came out, I thought it was going to be a peppy happy track. I couldn't hear the backing track well and 'LALALALA RUN FOR YOUUU~' sounds fairly...happy xD But, then I heard a better quality clip and realised this song was a lot more badass than that. Oops.
8. Ano Hi no You ni
This is one of the more balladish tracks on the album.
It's a really pretty and sweet song. And Kame's adlibs nearer the end are amazing.
It's the only group song on CHAIN I've seen a fancam of, and I can say, I'm excited for this track on the DVD. The performance wasn't exciting or anything, but it was stripped-back, pure and serene. I mean, if you can ignore the over-the-top sparkly, feathery suits they were wearing. (I think they looked good D8)
It's a really relaxing song, and the blending is amazing.
From what I gather, the lyrics are about some kind of change in a loving relationship where the song's speaker still wants to be with their love, and laugh with them again. I'm not sure what the change was, whether it was a break-up, death or even just their lover becoming a different or meaner person. Somehow, I like to imagine in like their lover themself changed. I dunno. Obviously, death is the most emotional one, but the mood of the song doesn't seem to fit like that, I guess. I don't know, I'm just using my extremely basic Japanese to speculate, but speculation makes me feel closer to the song.
However, it may be my least favourite track on the album, as much as I do like it. It's just...I dunno. Also, the verses are too soft for my taste. I like hard vocals, I guess xD
9. Zutto (Kazuya Kamenashi)
Obviously, as Kame is my favourite in the group, I'm going to sound a little biased here, but this song is absolutely beautiful.
I've also seen a fancam of it, and aside from the fact that I don't get his shirt, it was utterly stunning. However, I've heard that the Dome version of the performance is even better, so, really, this DVD cannot come quick enough. I can't even begin to imagine the beauty.
Anyway, this song, which has allegedly been inspired by 'healing music', was described by Kame as the kind of song you can listen to before you sleep, and, though I have yet to listen to it in such a situation, I can tell it will succeed.
It's such a peaceful song, it's got a really relaxing feel to it. It calms your tension on a loud school bus full of idiots when you're still tired because it's too early in the morning with commendable ease.
Also, Kame delivers the emotions of songs amazingly. As always, he really conveys the meaning of the lyrics in his voice. I mean, I've only read online translations, so it seems odd for me to say it, but...I still feel the emotions.
I can't remember but I swear the songs about deep and/or distance love, and it's really nice. It's just a pure and innocent song.
I did hear that Kame was either going to put this or Plastic Tears onto the album, but went with this, in order to stand out against the other solos, as they were mostly dancey or upbeat. As much as I LOVE Plastic Tears, I'm glad he made the choice he did. This song is really refreshing.
10. SMILE FOR YOU
This song is so...different from what you'd expect of KAT-TUN. It's so upbeat and poppy. It's more like...something you'd expect from NEWS, maybe Hey! Say! JUMP. But not KAT-TUN xD
It's so far from their normal badass or sentimental stuff, it's so...so happy. I know they've got other happy songs, but, still. It's so cheery and quite summery. Like, I could imagine this being used in a clip of KAT-TUN chilling in a really typical and unrealistic-looking beach resort, while they run around like the hyper guys they actually are, bullying Junno and pushing people into the water. That image alone makes me love this song xD
It's not one of my favourites on the album, but it just makes me feel happy inside. However, I prefer the badass and sentimental stuff, so...yeah.
11. Hakanai Yubisaki
Another ballad-esque track. It's a bit...like...harder than the others, though, I dunno? Like, there's more...beat. And bass.
This song's another good one for listening to before you sleep, it's really relaxing. It's got a kind of... synthesised drum beat, but it's also got this really nice piano melody in the back. And the high notes in the chorus are beautiful. It's a bit more...KAT-TUNy, in an odd way.
It seems to be a song...about separation or break-up, I'm guessing, from the 'Forget me not' lines. Also, there are references to being alone and wanting to see smiles again, so, that's what I'm guessing.
12. ~again (Tatsuya Ueda)
Typical Ueda rockiness.
Tatsuya suits this kind of song best, I've always found, so I really love that it's always the kind of song he goes for in his solos.
I hear lots of violins and things like that in the back. I love songs like that. The backing track would remind me of classic GACKT stuff, granted it were lower and a little heavier. But, I really love the backing track, there's a lot going on, but not too much and blends together perfectly.
This is a song I'd really like to see live. I mean, actually, in person. It would sound so good in a big dome, wouldn't it?
It's got that kind of feel to it. It's a song you can really...feel, in your chest. Okay, you may not agree or even know what I mean, but there are certain songs where I can really feel them in my chest, and they just kind of take over in a really nice way. And it's normally only rockier songs I feel this with. It's one reason why I'm so drawn to GACKT.
13. CHANGE UR WORLD
Ooh~ Another single ;D
This is actually my favourite 5-member single.
I really love the heaviness of it, and stuff. The guitars are just wow. As are the voices and stuff. Kame's high note? Oh, yeah. A.Ma.Zing.
I have but one complaint about this song. Okay, two complaints.
First, the lines distribution was unfair on Ueda. I mean, KAT-TUN aren't great for lines but they almost were, and then they weren't. Whatever.
And, second, the CD versions don't have the super amazing epic wow instrumental break after the rap in them. Only the PV and some live versions have it.
Sorry, that instrumental break was perfect. It just was.
14. DANGEROUS CAT ~MAKE ME WET~ (Koki Tanaka)
The third, and, apparently, final, chapter in Koki's famous Make U Wet collection.
However, this time, the tables have turned, and we found out about how the person Koki keeps insisting in soaking with all his cum feels about...well...being soaked in cum. Seems like they're having fun ;D
At least he's not essentially glorifying rape culture like some people *coughJincough*
And, I can deal with Koki's erotic songs. Like, somehow, they aren't objectifying, cause there's still some hint of romance in the lyrics, and he doesn't continuously point out that his partner is a 'sexy lady' or something. I mean, sex is harmless. It's objectification and misogyny that are the issue.
However, political correctness aside, this song is...
Well, it's on crack.
It opens with dogs, Koki's dogs, actually, barking and then Koki says, in this weird-ass voice, 'Quiiiet, doggy boys! Oh...Good boys'
It's a pretty creepy song, just cause of all the meowing and growling, and the odd voice he uses, but it's creepy in a strangely entertaining way. It's somehow...fun to listen to xD
Aside from the fact the line 'My name is Dangerous Cat' reminds me of something...like, the tune. I swear it's from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Ah, well, it's not important.
Another ballad. The most ballady of the album's ballads. And so, I think of it as THE ballad of the album. And THE ballad of the CHAIN tour. It's, like, a rite of passage for KAT-TUN have this one special ballad in their cons, and this one must be it.
I heard Kame insisted that this song MUST be used on the album, and I can see why.
This one is DEFINITELY perfect for falling asleep too. I mean, I've done it a couple of times, already.
Everything about this song is pretty. It doesn't reach a climax, and is consistently relaxing.
It is slightly...happier than most of KAT-TUN's ballads and a little more upbeat, but it's still really beautiful. Not my favourite ballad, though it would take something amazing to beat NEIRO.
The last single on the album.
This song is absolutely brilliant for...like, going for a walk on a sunny day. Or going for a drive on a sunny day. Or just some kind of travel on a sunny day. Or a bright place. You get my drift, right?
But, like, if you're going for a relaxing walk or drive or whatever, I recommend this song. It sounds best through headphones, mind. You can really hear the vocals, instruments and beats blend together in their full glory that way. It's a really uplifting song and never fails to bring a smile to my face.
It's just...such a nice song, without having to be all soft and laid-back.
It's still fast and cool but also light and...uh...nice.
This song...is probably the coolest on the album.
The changes in beat make for high tension - the nice kind.
It switches between fast & hard and slow & elegant. It's really awesome.
And I adore Kame's 'itainda' line, it sounds so...nice. I don't even know why. It's just. Yeah.
There's so much power in the song, though, and the chorus has such perfect flow.
If there was a PV, there'd be black coats and big boots and cool shiny crap, and then random flashy spinny lights. And there'd be fancy looking dance scenes, and the close-ups would have really cool lighting, and some apparently shocking stuff would happen. And Kame would bend over a lot during his adlibs and there'd be some kind of confusing ending that doesn't make sense. Yeah, that should some up what kind of feeling this song gives off to me.
18. CHAIN OF LOVE
When I first heard this song, I was confused as fuck. I mean, it's a bonus track, so I didn't know it was there.
Like, a real bonus track which isn't on any of the track listings.
But, it's another favourite. The first time I heard it I was like 'Where'd this come from? Oh, but it's so good'
It's another upbeat song, but, it's kind of low and cool and electro-ish at the same time. But, it's more energetic than the likes of ONE DAY. It's the same kind of thing as MAKE or BREAK without the autotune, or Yoake Made. Like, it's the kind of song that should have a really awesome dance, but doesn't.
Also, the little background shouts are...like, cute. Not cute, but, they're...like...d'aw. Especially in the chorus. I mainly just love how Kame says 'of' but stiillll~
I mean, this song is super amazing.
It reminds me of Arashi's harder sounding songs, which is weird, cause it's a softer KAT-TUN song xD
But, it's still very KAT-TUN. It's hard to explain.
So I wont explain. I give up.
So, overall...I hate this album for being so fucking long and therefore hard to write about.
Okay, I lied.
I love it. I love that it's long. It means there's more songs to fangirl over.
But, it's not their best.
It's on the same level as NO MORE PAIN for me, which is 3rd, after the joint 1st of Break the Records and Queen of Pirates.
It would beat NO MORE PAIN if the slower tracks were better, I think. But, it's still amazing. I think, I expected more, but after reviewing it, I've realised how much I REALLY like this album. So, yeah.
Go listen to it.